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Your life is like the morning fog…

on July 1, 2015
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The garden at Swannanoa Palace

all that remains

left to decay

a faint whisper

of yesterday

once a fairytale

they say

covered in blankets

of fog so gray

on a mountaintop

tucked far, far away

Your life is like the morning fog—

it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  James 4:14

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Swannanoa Palace

What little girl doesn’t want to be a princess when she grows up?  I sure did!  And I still do…I couldn’t wait to visit this old palace at the foot of the Blue Ridge Parkway this past weekend!

 Swannanoa Palace was built in 1912 by James H. Dooley for his wife as a summer vacation home. They both passed away a few years after it was completed, and it has been unoccupied for many years.  Despite the deterioration of this once beautiful home, the current owner opens the Palace for tours several times a year- but this beauty has definitely seen better days.

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4,000 piece stained glass Tiffany window

As I took it all in, I couldn’t help but think of all the fancy events that may have happened here…dinners, dances, family gatherings… and the view- the spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains… well, it just happened to be covered by the fog that day- so even the view was left to my imagination.

My heart broke when I thought of how amazing this place could be- with a whole lot of TLC. The craftsmanship, the detailed woodwork, and the Tiffany window were just breathtaking!  But much of this home is a shadow of what it use to be.

I found myself longing to fix this place up. A home without a heart is nothing more than four walls and a roof… the vacancy of this place hung in the air.

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The grande staircase

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The beautiful, ornate walls

And He also reminded me that I have a perfect little castle that I already call home- filled with life, love, joy, and family…a little “castle” that I sometimes take for granted.  All of the things we have-  this life, this world- they are all temporary and fade with time.

And it’s not really the things I treasure- it’s the relationships with the people that share them with me.

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Ornate ceiling above grande staircase with scenes of the four seasons

And then He reminded me that I am already His princess- and He is my King!

God is bedrock under my feet,     the castle in which I live,     my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag     where I run for dear life,     hiding behind the boulders,     safe in the granite hideout.  

Psalm 18

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looking down the staircase

The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold.     Psalm 45:13

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Solid marble staircase

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  

Matthew 6:19-20

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One of the fireplaces… beautiful hand carved mahogany mantle

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ornate chandelier

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The music room

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The weathered satin-covered walls in the music room

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The side of the palace

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The gardens

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Solid marble banisters and bench in the garden

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The servant’s house

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The servant’s house

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The only sign of life in this place… a tree grows through the window

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The fog makes it even more lovely

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The water tower… I told my girls it was “Rapunzel’s Tower”

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a peek into the stairwell of the locked tower

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The tower is covered in vines

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The front entryway to Swannanoa

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26 responses to “Your life is like the morning fog…

  1. lorriebowden says:

    Ah! Julie…I don’t know if it is your photos, your words, or two souls who connect in like energy, but I could absolutely FEEL exactly what you felt walking through this grand palace!! I have always been very emotional visiting old abandoned places…It is like I can feel the energy from the past. I love this post…I’m so happy you shared it. And I, too, can see it restored with love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      It was so awesome…. like a fairytale!! It was a perfect day- even with the fog- it made it even more magical!! But as the days pass, I feel even more sad that this beautiful place is just sitting, vacant, deteriorating…I hope one day it will be restored to it’s original beauty. So glad you enjoyed the post, Lorrie 🙂 Blessings to you!!

      Like

  2. Trini Lind says:

    Oh, I loooove that palace! 🙂 I want to be a fairy tale princess too 🙂 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa says:

    Gorgeous, breathtaking

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!! I want to see this place! That stain glassed window is gorgeous! I love palaces and fogs. Beautiful combination.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. atimetoshare says:

    What a gorgeous place, but so true that things of this world if left unattended will soon pass away. For us Christians, we often wander through life in a fog, but Christ is the light that never wanes. Someday we will be sharing more beauty than we can imagine, with the Son of God. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      “For us Christians, we often wander through life in a fog, but Christ is the light that never wanes.”… what a beautiful comment, and so true!!! I have often felt like I was in a “fog” but He is always so faithful to lead us when we trust Him! Thank you for your encouraging words and your thoughts!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. paulfg says:

    Reblogged this on Just me being curious and commented:
    Surviving or thriving –

    If I went somewhere special on a foggy day, I would probably grumble a little. Thank God for people like Julie! Not only an absence of grumbles, but a richness of love, life and God in pictures and words. A celebration of living – a celebration of loving!

    Let’s not just survive – let’s THRIVE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      Paul- have you heard of the Christian group Casting Crowns? They have a song called “Thrive” and it came to mind as soon as I read your comment… here is the chorus-

      Just to know You and to make You known
      We lift Your name on high
      Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
      We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
      Its time for us to more than just survive
      We were made to thrive

      It’s a great song… if you get the chance, look it up 🙂 Thank you so much for being you and for always sharing an encouraging thought…it means a lot 🙂 All for Him!!

      Like

      • paulfg says:

        WOW! Thank you Julie,. I have heard of them (and need your music to guide me to the “notes of God”). I will look that up and get back to you!! Thank you!!

        Like

      • paulfg says:

        “We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives”

        This is lovely! Thank you!! You are my Music Teacher! ((hugs))

        Liked by 1 person

      • Julie Harris says:

        You’ll never guessed what happened…the moment I read your comment, that VERY SONG was on the radio! We were made to THRIVE!!! It was so neat, I even told my husband about it 🙂

        Here’s another song I can’t stop singing – “Fix My Eyes on You”-

        Like

      • paulfg says:

        Julie – what a moment! And thank you for this one – I love the ending: full throttle and then … stop!! 🙂

        Like

  7. Shanda says:

    beautiful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent post and amazing pictures, Julie. I wish I would have known about this place back when I was spending so much time in that area. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie Harris says:

      Thank you so much 🙂 It is a beautiful area, and finding this palace was so neat! I have lived here for 10 years and hadn’t heard of it until a few months ago. Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting… I always look forward to reading your inspiring posts!! I hope you are doing well!

      Like

  9. Kev says:

    Love the photos. Thanks for sharing, Julie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] of fog…over the summer I got to “view” this gorgeous place-  Swannanoa Palace … and it just so happened to be under a heavy blanket of fog that day- adding to the […]

    Like

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